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Welding Fixture materials

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  • Welding Fixture materials

    I am making a number of welding fixtures so that the things that I manufacture the most will be welded the same, every time.

    In the past I have used just CRS or HRS for this purpose. What happens is you end up with all the spatter all over it. I want something that will conduct, but not allow that spatter to build up, so what does one use for this situation?

    I'm not overly concerned about thermal expansion, and I guess I could just use buttons so that even if it did build up it wouldn't change the dimensions of the project...but I'd prefer something that can be wiped down and look nice in the end.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    I have seen, made & used wooden welding fixtures. Just had to make provisions for grounding. It may seen a bit bizarre at first, but they are quick, easy and inexpensive to build and actually hold up reasonably well. Modifications are also easier than with metal fixtures.

    Another plus is that you cannot weld the part to the fixture.


    • #3
      Done hundreds of them in HRS and CRS,just hit them with a coat of spatter shield once and awhile and degrease after use with something like Purple Clean.That's assuming MIG.Stick you can use thin aluminum shields drive pinned or screwed to the fixtures.

      Aluminum makes good fixtures too,but they need to be pretty beefy to counter contraction forces.
      I just need one more tool,just one!


      • #4
        How about spraying some of that anti spatter spray on the fixture.
        Or something similar.. oils would likey do.
        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


        • #5
          I use hot rolled, cold rolled, aluminum...I guess it depends on what you're welding.

          I salvage aluminum foil from the kitchen all the time for keeping jigs and fixtures free from spatter. It conforms to any shape and is easy to work with....I can align things and secure them and as a final step use some foil as a barrier for the stuff I need to keep spatter free.

          Mind you, I work on small things so this approach works well for me, YMMV.



          • #6
            Thick copper is your friend, spatter just brushes off.



            • #7
              Another vote for copper. Or try copper plating.
              Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
              ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~


              • #8
                Pro shop?

                Why not visit and/or have a chat to a "Pro" shop - both "jobbing/one-off" and "production/fabrication" shops and see if they regard it as that important or and either way, what they do or don't do about it - if anything.

                "Anti-spatter" works pretty well, but there will always be weld spatter. Too much of it may mean that welding current or Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) settings or your welding technique need looking into.

                Spatter - if reduced to a minimum and "Anti-spatter" spray is used - can be reduced to a manageable and practical minimum. Its pretty easily cleaned/scraped off.


                • #9
                  Third vote for copper or copper plating.

                  That's why "c" clamps sold as welding clamps have the screws are copper plated.


                  • #10
                    I design welding fixtures for a large crane manufacturer and we use standard thick wall tubing, HRS, and CRS for 90% of our fixtures. We design fixtures that will fit on a table up to ones that are 50 feet long 10 feet wide by 10 feet tall. Everything on the fixture gets painted except the machined areas and it seems to hold up pretty well.


                    • #11
                      Cost vs margin, so it all depends. I never kept track of how many welding fixtures I have made/designed. I will say all the posts here reflect what I have done or seen done.

                      Quick/cheap - Household aluminum foil, aluminum backed duct tape, anti spatter spray
                      Less quick or cheap - epoxy paint
                      By design - aluminum, copper, (adding) Phenolic

                      If you can afford the copper, it works well.

                      Remember as noted before, welding with an aluminum fixture, the welding heat can transmit to the fixture and aluminum expands at a different rate than steel so things will move.

                      Last edited by rockrat; 04-22-2010, 10:35 AM.
                      Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


                      • #12
                        before we got fancy and painted all our fixtures we used cooking oil in spray bottles. smells nice and cleans up easy and no stains in your clothes. the beauty with painting is you can use paint pens to paint instructions on the fixture and it looks really professional.